Real Estate Mapping Faux Pas #7: Mapping Hieroglyphics August 8, 2012 Real Estate By: Richard Lin Share: TwitterFacebookLinkedIn Real Estate Mapping Faux Pas #7 brings us to our last and final mapping faux pas in this series. Yet, this is not to say this faux pas is insignificant by any means, in fact this faux pas is quite possibly the most important! Real Estate Mapping Faux Pas #7 is what we like to call mapping hieroglyphics. Mapping hieroglyphics occurs when you come across a great real estate website complete with an interactive map, you think how great it is that so many real estate companies are embracing consumer mapping needs and adding maps to their website. BUT just as you exhale with relief, you realize that something isn’t right about this map, is it in a different language? What are all of these symbols on it? You’ve just come across Real Estate Mapping Faux Pas #7: Mapping Hieroglyphics. Create a Better User Experience When Using Real Estate Maps Mapping Hieroglyphics occurs when a well-intentioned map is overloaded with too many symbols, complex mapping words, useless widgets and other overwhelming clutter that does not belong on a map. When a user stumbles upon mapping hieroglyphics it is almost a guarantee that they will abort the mission and leave your site with a bad taste in his mouth. Don’t let this happen. Here are some tips to avoid mapping Hieroglyphics and keep your real estate website visitors coming back for more! Tip #1: Use a Platform Users are Comfortable With Start off right by using a mapping platform that consumers are comfortable with like Google or Bing Maps. These mapping platforms are extremely prevalent and consumers are so familiar with them that you’d be foolish not to utilize them on your site. Don’t reinvent the wheel when consumers are already happy and comfortable using something that is readily available. Tip #2: Simple Maps Can Still be Powerful Another tip to avoid mapping hieroglyphics on your map, keep things simple and easy to digest. Don’t make your users learn a new language or sift through confusing symbols to use your map. Instead of saying “buffer search” say “search nearby”, use terminology that users don’t have to pull out a dictionary to understand otherwise the user will be leaving your site faster than you can say “ratersize!” Tip #3: Map Sure the Map Works Finally, in order to avoid mapping hieroglyphics and ensure a great experience for your user invest in cloud services and already available APIs that focus on making the map work. Cloud mapping services and APIs are making it effortless to embed a great map on your website so you can spend time ensuring your map is user friendly and improving the user experience. Read the Other Real Estate Mapping Faux Pas in Our Series: Mapping Faux Pas #6: Treating Your Map as a Store Locator! Mapping Faux Pas #5: Bad Data Visualization Mapping Faux Pas #4: Loading Map Syndrome Mapping Faux Pas #3: Dumb Maps Mapping Faux Pas #2: Street-Level Geocoding Mapping Faux Pas #1: Where’s the Map?